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Remembering when… Menu made WTCC history

Remembering when… Menu made WTCC history

07/09/2017 12:00

Prior to 2011 the FIA World Touring Car Championship had never ventured to mainland China. But that changed when the Tianma Circuit in Shanghai hosted the penultimate event of the season on 6 November with Alain Menu taking the first race laurels for Chevrolet.

Starting from pole following a rain-hit qualifying, the Swiss built an early lead before Colin Turkington made his move, closing up in his Wiechers-Sport BMW. Menu responded and took the victory by a little more than one second with his factory Chevrolet team-mate Rob Huff completing the podium for a British two-three.

While Race 1 was a relatively tame affair, there was drama from the start in Race 2 with Norbert Michelisz, Tiago Monteiro, Javier Villa and Darryl O’Young eliminated in a multi-car clash on the opening tour. Leader Gabriele Tarquini and pole-sitter Huff then clashed later on lap one. While the Italian held on to top spot, Huff slipped to fourth before fighting back to third. But Tarquini’s advantage wouldn’t last for long, however, when Yvan Muller demoted him for a lead he wouldn’t relinquish on lap four.

China has remained on the WTCC roster ever since and even got two races in 2014 when Goldenport Park in Beijing was called on to replace the cancelled Sonoma event in the USA. But after a five-year stint at the Shanghai International Circuit, this year’s FIA WTCC Race of China, scheduled for 13-15 October, will take place at the all-new Ningbo International Speedpark.

WTCC racer Rob Huff received a hero’s welcome on his return to the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone last weekend where he was standing in for friend and WTCC rival Tom Chilton.

FIA World Touring Car Championship racer Néstor Girolami helped Prince Carl Philip to the Swedish GT Championship runner-up spot at the weekend – and said afterwards how his appearance at Mantorp Park had helped his preparations for the upcoming WTCC Race of China.

Norbert Nagy will join three rivals in a final-round face-off for the FIA European Touring Car Cup crown following a dramatic pair of races at Zolder in Belgium.

Norbert Nagy, driving for FIA World Touring Car Championship team Zengő Motorsport, has qualified in pole position for ETCC Race of Zolder.

Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team has issued the following statement on its driver and FIA World Touring Car Championship leader Tiago Monteiro.

Néstor Girolami will get his chance to race with royalty when he contests the Swedish GT finale at Mantorp Park this weekend in a Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60.